So Greeks have voted NO by a significant majority in the referendum on the Troika conditions for bailout funds to repay Greek government debt. Given the scare tactics of the EU Commission and the G...
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Austerity has been the main battle cry on the part of the forces of capital. New cuts in public spending, new cuts in pensions, new cuts in social expenditure, mass lay-offs of public sector workers, all in the name of dealing with increased budget deficits and increased debt-burden. This was intensified after the eruption of the global capitalist crisis in 2007-08. All over the world, political and economic elites along with media pundits have been singling out public spending as the main obstacle to economic recovery. Deficit reductions have become the point of condensation of political conflicts and party rivalries. The call for budget cuts and deficit reductions has been accompanied by new calls for abolishing whatever has been left of labour rights. In all advanced capitalist societies, we can hear the same battle cry against the supposed ‘rigidities’ of the labour market and the ‘privileges’ enjoyed by public sector employees and certain segments of the workforce. Liberalizing markets and removing obstacles to entrepreneurial activity have been at the centre of political debates and policy discussions. The attempt to save the banking system has led to massive transfusion of public funding from socially useful directions toward banks, leading in a massive redistribution of income toward capital.
Rather curiously for a man who has been described as “arguably the most important intellectual alive” (New York Times) and who has been quoted as much as the Bible, Plato, Marx, and Freud, Noam Chomsky has made something of a career (or at least a part of it) by doing something so simple a ten year old could do it: pointing out things Adam Smith wrote — literally. He has pointed out, for instance, how Smith’s one reference to the Invisible Hand is part of his condemnation of what is today called “neoliberal globalization,” which, naturally, it is today used to support. And Chomsky has done similar things, pointing out things Adam Smith has said, including his various remarks on the division of labour, which he argues will make men stupid and ignorant; equality of condition, which is his ethical ideal; and power relations, which suggest that the merchant class dictates policies in its own interests. And if my use of the term ‘pointed out,’ seems rather odd, rather too simple for the world’s most prominent intellectual, that is because the situation itself is rather odd. In an interview with Chomsky, the interviewer David Barsamian suggests, “You’ve done some pretty impressive research on Smith that has excavated … a lot of information that’s not coming out …” but before he finishes his statement, Chomsky interrupts him: “I didn’t do any research at all on Smith. I just read him. There’s no research. Just read it,” and continues, “the version of him [Smith] that’s given today is just ridiculous. But I didn’t have to any research to find this out. All you have to do is read. If you’re literate, you’ll find it out.” As Chomsky is right to point out, it is not remarkable that he read these things in Smith — he is looking at their plain and obvious meaning; it’s right there before one’s eyes. What is indeed remarkable is that intellectuals — economists, mostly — do not see it.
So when that challenge came out of the growing mobilization of the 1960s and the crisis of the 1970s, from the left inside Social Democracy, the establishment of those parties had as much right as the left, maybe more, to deny that their tradition was a socialist one. The left was always saying that the party needed to return to what it had stood for. But the right could accurately say that the tradition of the party was class harmony. Furthermore they could argue that what the left was proposing the capitalists would not play with.
World domination is a topic that is frequently dramatized across a variety of genres. From action cartoons to epic movies, the plot of a power hungry madman or clique of madmen bent on absolute control has provided the foundation for dynamic plots that have captivated various people. No other person has masterfully spun such personalities and plots than history itself. While everybody is familiar with megalomaniacal leaders like the fascist Adolf Hitler and strongman Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, few realize the pivotal and directing role of high level western corporate-financier interests, or “globalist”, insiders acting backstage throughout some of the most grotesque portions of history
Curated by jean lievens
Economist, specialized in political economy and peer-to-peer dynamics; core member of the P2P Foundation
Anders en beter
Met P2P voorbij markt en staat: voor een progressieve coalitie rond de commons. Met nieuws over op p2p gebaseerde praktijken en hoe de overheid, de politiek en de zakenwereld ermee (kunnen) omgaan...
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on money and what it is
From the Great White Way to the West-End and beyond
on peer-to-peer dynamics in politics, the economy and organizations
Not TINA (There Is No Alternative) but TAPAS: THERE ARE PLENTY OF ALTERNATIVES